November 21st, 2006
|02:03 pm - Thinking about where to go from here, web-wise|
I've been looking over Chronarchy.Com's backend specs. The site sits at about 275 MB in size, out of a possible 400 MB. My virtual "rent" is fairly cheap (which is good: I could never afford more), but I'm thinking about what I'd like to do with the site, and it *does* just keep growing.
So as I look at it, I start to size it up. There's ever the option of adding wiki. . . A fun tool that ADF members will know well (as will users of that silly depository of "knowledge," Wikipedia), but it doesn't seem to serve my needs. There are mailing lists and polls and things like that which could really enhance the "experience" of Chronarchy.Com, but they're not so much useful as "cool."
I could create a "members only" section, but that bothers me on a lot of levels: I'm one of those rare people who really likes the transparency that the Internet provides, the openness it promotes and the weird quirks of oh-shit-I-shouldn't-have-posted-that moments that we all have. They make life interesting, at the very least. Only one directory on my pages is password protected, and all it's got are four images.
I can create a nifty chat function (I did this on the Three Cranes site, but more as a fun thing to play with than an actual tool), but I don't have the time to staff it or really participate in it to any extent.
I could add a blog, but between MySpace, Facebook, and LiveJournal, I am totally blogged out. Enough that my webpage, which I always wanted to keep primary, is wasting away for lack of new content (don't tell me you haven't noticed. . .)
I could sell stuff, but given the lackluster response my CafePress site gets (even with ADF-related material available on it being published at cost), I have a feeling that's a losing proposition. Besides, the CafePress site is linked off every page of the site, and in a year and a half, it's earned all of $6.02.
But what actually interested me was a little program called "Moodle". Moodle is a course management system that allows people to take courses on your website. It allows for virtual workshops, assignments, chat sessions, creation of resources, etc.
I look at it and I think that, hell, I could put the WotY up on that. I could set it up to assign things on a regular basis, create due dates, quiz people over the material, and seriously upgrade and reorganize the resources available. And I could also create something like that for the various GSP courses, or clergy training. And honestly, I'm a little excited.
The central problem with it is the installation size. It's nearly 50 MB, and that'll put me dangerously close to the edge, given my current usage and the rate the site has grown at: about 68 MB/year on average.
With additional size, there's additional cost. So now I'm thinking: is it worth the upgrade cost? How can I make the additional virtual "rent?" Would anyone use it? How much backend work is needed: can it run itself? Is it fair to offer the course for cash (the idea makes me somewhat uncomfortable), or should I just check ADF membership and make it a free-for-all romp if I decide to do it?
Yes, these are things I wonder about during sunny lunch hours in winter.
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: contemplative
Current Music: "If the Phone Doesn't Ring, It's Me", -JB
Ohhhh... there are many more options then that ;) I'm looking into them for my pages as well. *shrug* if you need ideas or maybe some assistance drop me an email.
As for size & rent, you can offset both via non-obtrusive advertising...
your host offers some free things for non-profit ventures & for others...though they are likely riddled with spamvertisments.
Google's single line text ads on the bottom of a few pages could help a bit, and they are not annoying to me (unlike banners).
I see you already have a donation button via paypal...but you may wish to spread it around a bit...or maybe add a plea to it ;) just don't be too begging. That's unbecoming... either way on this though, maybe stating that anything above the costs to run the site will go to the ADF?
My host offers a special button (like the paypal button) that goes directly to hosting. Some people feel better paying for the site rather then just you *shrug*
You could do a massive upgrade, add on a reseller account & have the other sites you host pay for yours...though, there is some risk to this, as well as the starter costs...
Maybe offer a 'members only' section...then charge a minor fee to access it? Works for some places...and many are willing to fork over doe if they get something out of it AND if it helps a good cause *shrug*
Cpanel is pretty easy to use...especially if it has Fantastico or some other script installer. Making the backend rather easy... but then, you likely have some knowledge of this?
Hehe... Wordpress is nice (wordpress.org I think), and offers syndication. It's open source & free...they will even install it for you if you'd like.
With the syndication feature you can at least convert your LJ to a syndicated account. I dunno about myspace or that faceplace, as I've never used them...
the various WIKI programs out there are all riddled with hackable holes...so unless ya know how to keep an eye out for such things, it's wise to make constant backups ;)
I've no clue what else to say...but if you'd like to read more just ask and I'm sure I can ramble on another 15 pages..
I've actually not gotten a chance to play with the script installer. All the stuff I've done has created itself on it's own...so in a way I've been lucky :D
And to be clear on the wordpress thing... it's something you can upload to your site & blog yourself... or even offer others to blog (which actually may be a great idea for the ADF itself... hosting member blogs & all *shrug*